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Updated on: Tuesday, December 21, 2021, 07:30 PM IST

'We'll oppose it tooth and nail': Karnataka Congress chief Chief DK Shivakumar after tearing copies of anti-conversion bill in assembly

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Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee Chief DK Shivakumar opposing anti-conversion Bill on Tuesday said that he will tear the bill as it is against the constitution.

The KPCC chief said we wanted to stop it before its introduction. "They've to go by the majority, but the Speaker joined hands with the govt," the minister added.

"We'll oppose it tooth and nail," he added.

His comments come after DK Shivakumar tore the copy of the Bill inside the House.

Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra today tabled the anti-conversion bill in the state Legislative Assembly. The Karnataka Assembly Speaker announced that he has allowed the government to introduce the anti-conversion bill as per the procedure, and it will be taken up for discussion on December 22.

The Congress party called the bill "draconian and anti-constitution".

The "Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021", introduced in the assembly by Home Minister Araga Jnanendra, provides for protection of right to freedom of religion and prohibition of unlawful conversion from one religion to another by misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means.

The bill proposes for an imprisonment from three to five years with a fine of Rs 25,000, while for violation of provisions with respect to minors, women, SC/ST, offenders will face imprisonment from three to ten years and a fine of not less than Rs 50,000. The proposed bill is also said to have made a provision for the accused to pay up to Rs five lakh as compensation to those who were made to convert.

With regard to cases of mass conversion, the bill proposes 3-10 years jail term and a fine of up to Rs one lakh.

It also states that any marriage which has happened for the sole purpose of unlawful conversion or vice-versa by the man of one religion with the woman of another religion, either by converting himself before or after marriage or by converting the woman before or after marriage, shall be declared as null and void by the family court or where the family court is not established, the court having jurisdiction to try such case, on a petition presented by either party thereto against the other party of the marriage.

The offense under this bill is non-bailable and cognizable.

The Congress members then staged a walkout from the House, condemning the government for "violating the constitution as the bill is in violation of article 21 and 25".

(with agency inputs)

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Published on: Tuesday, December 21, 2021, 07:30 PM IST
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